Health insurers to issue $57 million in rebates to employers

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Four state health insurers will return a total of $57.5 million to small employers and individuals over the coming weeks because too much of the premium dollars they collected last year went into administrative expenses and surpluses rather than medical care.

The rebates from Massachusetts health plans were about 3.2 percent more than the $55.7 million refunded last year for 2011 premiums under the state’s “medical loss ratio” requirement that at least 90 percent of premiums be used to pay doctors and hospitals.

“This will put money back in the pockets of small businesses and individuals,” said Barbara Anthony, the state’s undersecretary of consumer affairs and business regulation. “It’s a reflection of the high standards we have in Massachusetts for protecting consumers.”

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